Trumbull – Extracts From Diary of Alfred D Guion – July, 1943

Extracts From The Diary of One Alfred D Guion

of Trumbull Connecticut For The Week

Ending July 18, 1943

Grandpa’s creative juices were again flowing freely and this week’s letter takes the form of a Diary, including all the interesting things that happened during the week. He actually ends up including just about everyone in the family – and even one that isn’t yet!

Monday, July 12.

Little did I realize when the sun peeked into my bedroom window that this was to be circus day for me, but such it proved, for just before noon Elizabeth phoned to say she planned to take Butch and Marty to “The Greatest Show on Earth”, and was seeking someone to accompany her as assistant child tender. The Big Top was stifling hot, Marty was restless and during the lull between acts fell through the seats to the ground about 2 feet down, injuring his pride, which fact he boldly proclaimed to one and all. While no lady clown was on hand to search for the missing Alfred, many of the acts were reminiscent of those other times when my own little tots laughed at the antics of the clowns, the fire and the men perched atop of innumerable tables and chairs who swayed back and forth until the laws of gravity intervened. After the show nothing would do but the boys must each have a balloon, which, filled with gas, floated appealingly in the air at the end of a string. Not 2 seconds after Marty received his and before Elizabeth could grab the string, Marty shoved his balloon upward. It went sailing gaily up over the telegraph wires and on its way over towards Lordship to cavort with Sikorsky helicopters. Marty was so surprised he didn’t even cry. A replacement was at once secured which we then tied to each youngsters waist.

Tuesday, July 13.

PO Box 7 this morning disgorged a letter from Jean – terse but newsy: “Just a line to let you know I’ll be home Wednesday, July 14. Dick was shipped this morning”. Later a postcard came from “private” (if you please) Richard, APO 4684, Miami Florida. Jean told me afterward that he had been demoted, temporarily she believed, because one morning he overslept, and his C. O. felt it was necessary, for the sake of discipline, to make an example of someone and Dick was elected.

But there was another letter in the box, all in red from arson Ced, telling of his method of celebrating Independence Day in Alaska, recalling the fact that this was the first time a fourth of July celebration had been held since the 12 days after he and Dan arrived in Anchorage. Woodley is running in a streak of hard luck. A new pilot just cracked up another of their planes.

Wednesday, July 14.

Jean appeared with a coat of Indianapolis tan, and found awaiting her in Trumbull, a reception committee consisting of her mother, Marilyn, Natalie, (her two sisters) Grandma and Aunt Betty. Since then Jean has been getting her room to rights and getting used to her life as an Army widow. While the great transportation arteries of the

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

country were doing their duty by Jean, Postmaster Walker was doing his stuff in the way of a letter from Lad. As the fellow who invented “near-beer” was said to be a poor judge of distance, so Lad seems to have difficulty getting his time right. He writes as of Wednesday night, but on the next page says it is 4:15 AM. Back to your old tricks again, hey, you night hawk! It was mighty good to hear from you just the same, Sgt., and I hope you’ll start a bit earlier (or later) next time and enlarge a bit more on what you are doing. You have a way of writing about things, giving details that make very interesting reading. If Marian knew what nice people we were back here in Trumbull, she’d grant you an hour or so of grace. This isn’t to be construed as complaint because you have been mighty good at writing. I have sons who do lots works. The following is quoted from a column appearing in the Bridgeport paper headed IN UNIFORM: (I don’t know where they get the information.)

GUION GETS MEDAL

Sgt. Alfred P Guion, son of

                                                                            Alfred D Guion of Trumbull Connecticut,

                                                                            won a Marksman’s Medal for rifle

                                                                           shooting recently at Camp Santa

                                                                  Anita, California

Thursday, July 15.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Up betimes this morning – a bit after 5 AM to be exact, because this was to be the day when the mountain went to Mohammed. Dan has been consistently evading accepting furloughs that his C. O. has been trying to force upon him on numerous occasions lately, and I made up my paternal mind that I wouldn’t let him get away with it any longer but would seek Daniel in his den, so off I goes to Lancaster. From 1:34 until 7:00 I tramped the country surrounding Lancaster without even seeing one lion, even less Dan, finally learning that his whole outfit had been moved, bag and baggage, to a rumored place about 40 miles distant. With tired heart and sinking feet (or vice versa), but with the old Guion spirit which refuses to be licked, I started to trail T-5 and at 9:30 that night, after sampling bus transportation in Pennsylvania, I arrived at a Service Club in Indiantown Gap (an exact replica, Lad, of the Service Club in Aberdeen) and was tapped on the shoulder and a level (or transit) voice inquired if my surveying of the premises indicated I was searching for anyone in particular. And who do you suppose it was? Right! We never decided who was the more surprised, and I guess we’ll never know. I stayed in his barracks that night by permission of the Sgt., ate a  soldier’s breakfast at six something and after a nice long talk, in which I forgot to ask several things I had come down to find out about (one was what disposition Dan wanted made of his auto which is standing unused in the backyard), I took the 10 AM bus on my return journey (Dan’s time was up anyway), and after transportation delays and journeys in air-conditioned cars which weren’t conditioning, finally arrived back home a bit after 8 PM. Dan expects to be shipped out soon, but when or where is a deep, dark secret.

Saturday, July 17.

Aunt Anne phoned to ask if it would be all right for her and Gwen to come up to stay over with Aunt Dorothy. Gwen, it seems, is with her mother in New Rochelle for the summer but expects to go back to school in Vermont in the fall. Today was Jean’s birthday, which she spent with her family in Stratford.

Sunday, July 18.

Due to being back on the old kitchen detail, I have to divide my Sunday time now, once again, to getting dinner and trying to do odd jobs around the house. Today

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

I wanted to do some repairs on the old washing machine and also get the laundry tubs in working condition, but had time only for the latter. And I didn’t get the grass cut either. (Dave was busy praying for his father who failed to keep holy the Sabbath day). Carl is now in the Merchant Marine, but can’t land the kind of job he wants because of his colorblindness, so he says he may be peeling potatoes or doing any other job where it won’t matter if things are pink or purple. Barbara is being given a farewell party tonight by the young people. I was invited and intended to go, but it was so late when the Aunts finally got away and I needed a shave and had not written my weekly blurb (even now it is 10:20 and the shave is still to be) and I haven’t had any supper, and it’s getting near the end of the page so I’ll end this now.

Your faithful

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Bissie to her older brother, Ced, in Alaska. Thursday’s post continues along these same lines as Grandpa writes a short paragraph on where everyone is and what they are doing. On Friday, a letter from Lad from ther Hospitality Center in South Pasadena, California.

If you are enjoying these letters from an earlier time, please share them with others you think might also enjoy them. If you click FOLLOW VIA EMAIL and enter your email address, each post will automatically be delivered to your inbox. Now how easy is that???

Judy Guion

Trumbull – TRUMBULL SUNDAY CLARION – July 11, 1943

Trumbull Sunday Clarion, July 11, 1943

Trumbull Sunday Clarion, July 11, 1943

My Grandpa’s gifts with words, printing and advertising all came together this particular Sunday and we are the recipients of those gifts. This is the “letter” he sent out to his sons scattered around the world. Lad, the oldest, is in Camp Santa Anita in California,  training auto, truck and diesel mechanics for the Army; Dan, next in line, is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, awaiting transfer to London with the rest of his Civil Engineering Unit;  Ced, son number three, is in Alaska working at Woodley’s Airfield, which has been taken over by the military, working as an airplane mechanic and bush pilot; and Dick, son number four, is in Indianapolis, awaiting transfer to who-knows-where.

I’ll give you a little background information on each of the stories.

COOKS VACATION ENDS

Guion Resumes K.P. Duties

_______________

Due to the fact that Mrs. Peabody has been feeling slightly under the weather, and it seemed wiser for her to assume as little ordinary work as possible, the former chef smilingly don’s his erstwhile apron and tackles the meal getting chores. Lamb and proven with on today’s menu are prepared in usual form and proclaimed as up to the best former standards. Miss Dorothy Peabody,  who visited Trumbull again this week and reports having rented as of August 1, a larger apartment and as soon after that date as can be arranged,  she expects to have her mother living with her again in New York.

Mrs. Peabody is the Grandma referred to in many of the letters. She is Grandpa’s (Alfred Duryee Guion’s) mother-in-law, the mother of Arla, his wife, who passed away in 1933 after a long battle with cancer. That event was the lynch-pin that set all of the events in the letters in motion.

________________________

  PERSONALS

________________________

D. Guion has just reported another near miss in securing furlough. We’ll keep on trying, he stated recently.

June and July issues of Alaska Sportsman arrived this week – – gift of C. Guion. Thanks, Ced.

Mrs. R. Guion reports still building Army morale, particularly among the M.P.’s in Indianapolis.

No postage stamps were on sale at the Anchorage or Arcadia post offices  recently. Is Rationing Board added again?

It is rumored that Sgt. Guion is trying to arrange matters so that he can spend his vacation furlough with friends in Trumbull. Reception Committee tents.

Miss Anna Rakowski recently died of a heart attack.

Poppa is well, Aunt Betty is well, Dave is well. All send greetings and await mail. The Box is No. 7

D. Guion refers to Dan, in Pennsylvania, who is trying his hardest to get a furlough to travel the 250 miles home for one last visit before he heads overseas.

C. Guion has subscribed to the Alaska Sportsman for his father, possibly to give him a better idea of what life is like in the northern territory.

Mrs. R. Guion is Jean, Dick’s wife, who has followed her MP husband from Miami to Indianapolis and will follow him until he is sent overseas, when she will return to Trumbull to stay in the family homestead.

Sgt. Guion refers to Lad, in California, who is trying to plan a furlough to travel across the country to visit family and friends.But, as it always is with the military, you don’t know anything until it actually happens, particularly during a war.

I have no idea who Miss Anna Rakowski was.

At this point in time, Papa (Grandpa), his Aunt Betty and youngest son Dave are the regular residents in the Trumbull house, since Grandma is supposed to leave in a couple of weeks.

B. PLUMB BECOMES WAC-Y  

Local Organist successfully

Passes Examination

_____________

Passing both physical and mental test with flying colors, local Trumbull girl will soon leave for training,  having resigned her business position in Bridgeport. Miss Evelyn Hughes will replace Miss Plumb as organist of the local Church. The latter started to duties today and performed her duties well.

Barbara Plumb is Dan’s girlfriend and has been for a while.  The brief article tells the rest.

CAROL ELIZABETH WAYNE 

Moves to Trumbull

Likes her New Home

___________

After a short sojourn in the Bridgeport Hospital, the young lady, with little persuasion from her father and mother, decided to permanently locate on Daniels Farm Road. Her father spent the day sailing together with Paul Wardenand Walter Mantle, to Port Jefferson. Father Carl, anticipating an early call to the colors has enlisted in the Merchant Marine, and leaves for his new duties, Wednesday. No information has yet been announced as to what will become of the gas station which Mr. Wayne has been conducting. His father recently has been aiding in the work. However with the stringent gas rationing, is becoming increasingly difficult to find gas station personnel.

Her father, a close friend of the older boys, is running the gas station that Lad worked at when he was in his teens and early twenties. You might remember his letter to Lad in the post titled “Trumbull – The Red Horse Service Station – Carl Wayne”. He couldn’t wait to tell my father all the news in town, especially the fact that his sister (Elizabeth, Bissie to family and friends) had eloped.

SHOE SHORTAGE HITS INDIANAPOLIS

Local girl finds following Army from camp to camp hard on feet. Buys new pair of shoes.

This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Jean must be wearing out her shoes following her husband from Trumbull to Miami to Indianapolis.

I hope you found this particular post as interesting as I did. My Grandfather continues to surprise me.

Tomorrow, extracts from Grandpa’s Diary, Wednesday, a letter from Biss to Ced, Thursday, another letter from Grandpa bringing everyone up to date on family and friends and on Friday, a letter from Lad, which Marian made him promise to write.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (1) – Dave Sent to Manila – September, 1945

Same old Trumbull, but a new Sept. 2nd, 1945.

otherwise known as VJ Day

Dear Benedicts and Bachelors:

Well, the dawn of a tomorrow is at last a reality, and the “land of the rising Sun” is indeed facing a new day. When you read this however, the event will have passed on into history, and so fast is the pace these days that new events may have already crowded it into the background. There are great days ahead. Huxley once said that the most difficult time in which we live, but also the most rewarding, was in those occasional dark valleys between two peaks of vision when one system had lost its grip on men’s minds and the new system was not yet crystallized. Which seems to describe this present generation. Maybe that is why having lived through the recent dread days there is such a thrill in anticipating the days ahead which you boys, in the strength of your manhood, are facing. History shows us that man’s eternal struggle towards the heights has often been retarded and even halted, but never turned back. Problems the world is now facing will be solved. Nations will find their souls, a new and better world will emerge. You boys are truly at the threshold of great things I truly believe. So much for that, now let’s get down to earth.

Lad, of course, is the big fact still in our conscious thoughts. He and Marian, with the help of the Buick, seem to find plenty doing in these here parts. Yesterday morning we gave Elizabeth a few hours breathing spell by kidnapping Butch and Marty for an auto trip to Bronx Zoo. After returning, they went to a dance in Candlewood Lake as guests of Burr Davis and tonight they are having supper with George Knapp. Elsie just arrived so tomorrow promises also to be not without incident.

And turning to the Quotes Dept., we also have some interesting items there. Dave writes from Manila: “You are no more surprised to find I’m here than I am to be here. It all happened so suddenly that it still hard to believe. Take it from the beginning and follow through. On August 23rd I was told that I had been taken off the old five-man team, and Friday afternoon I was told to pack my stuff and be ready to leave Okinawa by 5 AM Saturday morning. I got only one hour sleep Friday night. In the morning we went up to Kadena Airport, boarded a C-46 Commando transport and in 5 ½ hours found myself in Manila. It was my first real plane ride and I felt a little sick-ish from nervous tension. As soon as the plane started to move up the runway, I lost all fear and became intent on watching the ground below fade away. All of a sudden it just became a big thrill. I acted like a kid on his first train ride. I glued my nose to the window until I couldn’t see Okinawa anymore. Then every once in a while I’d look out to see if we might not pass over an island. Then in almost no time I began seeing the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. I watched every one of them fade away in the distance far below. Finally we got to Luzon. I was sitting up forward near the navigator’s position and by way of conversation, I said: “This is my first time”. I could tell he knew it anyway because of my eagerness to see everything below. When he finished a plot on his map he handed it to me and asked if I’d like to follow our progress as we went along. We were flying at about 8500 feet and the coastline looked just like the map. I could see the rivers and inlets and bulges along the coastline just as they were on the map. We passed over Lingayen Gulf where the American Navy had come in to retake Luzon. Then we cut inland and finally landed at Nichols Field about 6 miles outside Manila.

After waiting for about two hours (spent that time in a canteen gaping at comparatively beautiful Philippine women) we got on the truck and started towards Manila. We passed through what was once a beautiful residential district. There were remains of large and magnificent homes. We passed a ballpark that I had seen in the newsreel. The movie showed American boys cleaning the Japs out of the bleachers and an American tank pitching shells from the pitcher’s box. Now it was just a quiet, torn up mess. We passed well-to-do Philippines living like the ignorant “Okies”. When we entered Manila we saw large public buildings, half rubble and half gutted concrete frames. Manila seems to be about the size of Bridgeport, possibly larger. Can you picture the Klein Auditorium strewn all over Fairfield Avenue, the stage alone standing? Or Central High with the facade all bashed in and the rest of the school gutted, the City Trust Building reduced to four or five stories, City Hall just a pile of bricks? You can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is or how lucky we were this war turned out as it did. The City Hall here was built in 1939. You can see it was a beautiful structure but now it is full of shell and Bomb holes. The people are trying to keep their businesses going but they don’t have much to do it with. You can see where there was once a beautiful nightclub. It is now a makeshift affair with a makeshift band looking like a sideshow at Coney Island. That about explains the whole city – – just a bunch of concessions on the sidewalks of a gutted ghost-city. http://rogue.ph/18-photos-that-show-manila-before-and-after-world-war-ii/

The following quote is from an interview I had with Dave about his childhood memories and growing up in Trumbull:

On August 25th, I think,  we were all watching a film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys from Brooklyn had a buddy, who was also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it was yesterday,  he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that theJaps were going to quit – and this guy came running over and says, “the signing has been confoimed.” I never forgot that.

But anyhow,  between the time of August 25th and September 7th when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila. Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and they’re shipping me out in a plane to Manila. The pilot spent about 20 minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.” Anyhow, we got to Manila. That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted,… All kinds of destruction. If you went to the City Hall and looked up, you’d see a room with curtains on the windows. That was MacArthur’s headquarters. So he had curtains on his windows and the Filipinos  were watching dead bodies float down the river.

I would say I was in Manila probably six months. I came home in March 1946.

I’ll tell you more next time. The address will do for the time being until we can find out a little more. Dave

Yes, Dave, I called up Eleanor and she was of course interested to hear about your latest move. She asked what we all have been asking each other, “What does this mean?” in terms of your homecoming? And of course the answer is a large lettered WHO KNOWS? Your birthday is not so far off and so far I have not been able to hear a thing about the camera so I am afraid it won’t get to you for your birthday. We’ll be waiting for your next installment to see if it throws any light on this new move. Does it mean a promotion, part of the Army of occupation on Japan, a visit to China to aid in their communication system, or what? At least it means you are seeing another part of the world and that is interesting.

Tomorrow and Friday I’ll post the rest of this long letter, including a very interesting letter from Ced.

hJudy Guion

Trumbull – Gentle Readers (1) – Lad’s HOME – August, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Aug. 20, 1945

Gentle Reader:

The old boy must be slipping. Here it is Monday night and his Sunday letter isn’t written yet. Oh, of course there’s a reason. Guess what – – – LAD’S HOME ! Yes, he snook in on us Thursday night at about 10 o’clock. Aunt Betty had gone up to bed, Marian was in the kitchen indicting her daily missive to the absent Lad, and I was in my chair in the alcove just about ready to put out the light and go upstairs. I heard the back door open followed by some queer noises, but paid no attention to it as the young folks in the apartment drop in occasionally. Then Marian yelled for me and I came in to find prize package # 1 in all its glory. It put a definite end to the mental gymnastics Marian and I have been practicing since we read in the paper the announcement of part of Lad’s Bn. having landed, trying to figure out if so, when he would phone. Ever since Sunday I have slept with the door open and the sleep alerted ear attuned to the phone eill. Early in the evening when ring 2 (We had a Party Line at the time and the Guion residence was two rings.) came up, either Marian or I would rush expectantly to grab the receiver and each time experience a corresponding let-down. They almost had me fooled Tuesday. At 2:20 AM I awoke with ring 2 making the signal, and grabbing my flashlight so I could hurry down the stairs in one hand, I threw off the bed close with the other and made a flying start for the stairs. THIS IS IT, says I. It couldn’t be anything else at this time of night. Halfway down the stairs my pajama pants fell off, almost tripping me up in my haste (darn these stretchy elastic waistbands when they get old). Anyhow, I bunched them up and continued my headlong flight. A man’s voice said, “I’m phoning for a friend of mine” (Lad of course, it flashed across my mind) (who wants to get married!” Oh boy, what a let-down. I’ve heard of a fellow losing his shirt for a friend but never one losing his pajama bottoms for a friend of someone who wants to get married. From that time on I gave up expecting to hear from Lad so his arrival was all the more a surprise. He looks fine / hasn’t changed a bit as far as I can see. No evidence of deeper lines of mental stress or worry, weight about the same. Just the same old Lad that went away one and a half years ago.

But to get back to my reason for this letter being a day late. Burr Davis, Lad’s godfather, who has a summer cottage at Candlewood Lake, had invited Marian to visit them, and as this was to be Mr. Davis’s last weekend there, Lad invited us all to hop in his car and make it a family visit. We did and had a very enjoyable time, but alas it was too late when we got home to start a letter, and while I fully intended to make up for it during the day at the office, I just didn’t get the opportunity. So, here we are back to beginning. Who will be the next to upset the smooth tenor of our ways by returning home unexpectedly? Dan? Mebbe. I am waiting to hear what his next letter may have to say on this subject. Then perhaps Dick may be next although in view of the fact Jean has just joined him, it is Lad’s guess that this procedure would not have been permitted if they didn’t foresee the men being down there for a year longer. However a letter today from Jean reveals that she was practically on her way when the peace news came through. Maybe this would be a great time to quote her letter:

“Surprise, I’m here. Arrived at one (noon) on the 16th.  Dick didn’t know I was due that day so he didn’t meet me. They had quite a job locating him but when his assistant found him and told him I was here all he could say was, “Are you kidding?” He was quite worried because the officer here told him that all the wives orders had been canceled because of the end of the war. He was sure I wouldn’t be able to come. I wasn’t supposed to leave Miami until Thursday, but when I checked in to

page 2   8/20/45

the Army hotel Tuesday morning, they started rushing me through briefing classes and my last typhoid shot. They told me late in the afternoon that I would be leaving about 6:30 that night. We were out at the airport at seven when the news of the Jap surrender was announced. We took off at eight in a C-47–the same one they flew Gen. Mark Clark back to the US in. We were very lucky to get such a nice one, as most of the planes were just plain transport ships with bucket seats and very uncomfortable. There were seven girls, one child and myself, +5 crew members. Our first stop was Puerto Rico, 2:30 A.M. Wednesday. They gave us breakfast and we sat around in the post lounge waiting for a minor repair to be made until 4:30 A.M. We flew until noon when we stopped at British Guiana. There we were treated like Queens–met us in the staff cars, took us to a restroom to get cleaned up, then to the officer’s mess hall for lunch and from there to a cottage where we took showers and slept until 6 PM, then dinner, after which two officers took us to the officers club for a highball. We took off at eight P. M. Our next stop was at Belem, Brazil, at four A.M. Thursday. After breakfast we took off again, arriving at Natal at 10:45 A.M. Everyone but me and the crew got off—I was the only passenger back to Forteleza.

Dick couldn’t get the house he wanted but he got a cute place in a very nice section, about the same size as the other place, four rooms, bath and a separate servants home on the side. So, we have a garden. Dick is having the yard all fixed up. The man starts work at seven A. M. And works until about 4:34 P.M. for $.50 a day. Can you imagine working in the hot sun for that? I can’t either. It is spring here now. I don’t know what the temperature is but it’s just comfortable and there is always a strong breeze. Dick looks wonderful. He says he’s lost some weight the past week, though, worrying about me and trying to get the house cleaned up. He even bought a table cover for our dining room table.”

Dick adds a P. S. “I want to thank you for having taken such good care of Jean, Dad. I’m happier now than I have been since I was drafted. I don’t mean to insinuate that I was happy they drafted me. She’s the difference between existing and living. My love to all. Dick”.

So we see that maybe if Jean had been a few hours later in getting started, orders might have come through for cancellation. Incidentally, this might cause Lad to revise his opinion that allowing the wives to go down probably means Dick will be there for some time yet. Would like to know what the prospects are as they look to you down there, Dick. Do take some snapshots of the house and send them home as we are all eager to see what the Guion Brazilian home looks like.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the rest of this letter, and after that, another 5-page letter I’ll squeeze into 3 posts. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Army Life – March Field – July, 1943

Today’s post is very short because Lad just doesn’t have much time to write and he’s quite tired. I think that condition was quite common with anyone in military service.

Lad's letter from Camp Santa Anita, July, 1943

Lad’s letter from Camp Santa Anita, July, 1943

C.S.A.

Wed nite

Dear Dad;-

I have just finished spending a few days at March Field where, with six others, we were doing some checking on the general condition of ordnance equipment.(It was in fair condition.) March Field is a Bomber Base, and therefore I had a pretty good chance to see a number of different U. S. airships close up. Some of them are surprisingly large, and all of them seem to be well built and maintained.

I’m on C. Q. right now and do not have any of your letters with me, so I’ll just have to answer the things I can remember.

I got the bathing suit O. K., but you addressed it Co. “A” and not “D”, so it took about four days longer than it should.

I made some inquiry again about the check, and it seems as if it should be all straightened out now. However, if not, let me know, and I’ll not stop inquiring until I know something very definite about it.

Things down here have been going on much the same as usual, and everything here is, as usual, all messed up. The days have been pretty warm lately, but it is cool and even cold, at night, which makes it nice sleeping.

I’m a little too tired to write a very comprehensive letter, if I go on, so I’m going to call it quits right now, at 4:15 AM. Remember me to Grandma and Aunt Betty– etc.

Laddie

Army Life – Camp Santa Anita – A Bet and a Band – June, 1943

Grandpa finally receives a letter from Lad with quite a bit more news about Marian Irwin, his main social companion. Things seem to be moving along quite nicely.

Blog - Lad's Army Life - A Bet and a Band - June, 1943

Camp Santa Anita

June 14, 1943

Dear Dad:

This is Monday afternoon. I’m so terribly busy that I’ve had no time to write this morning, and so I have to do it now. (Apparently the ribbon is pretty shot so I shall write in red. Hope you can read it without too much trouble). It is a shame for the past four weeks or more I have done practically nothing, one week I spent out on the range, shooting for record, but even that was not too much of a success. Out of a possible 220 I pulled in only 165. Other than that I have done very little. No instructing, to speak
of, and most of the time I’ve devoted to “goldbricking”, and designing. The basic diesel principles course of which I wrote still has not received the final sanction from Washington, but the office is expecting daily. (And I don’t mean the secretaries – of which there are many, some very good-looking too). Therefore I’ve been making an injector test stand. It has been a lot of fun, but the thing is still only on paper, I won’t know just how well it will work for about a week. Art Lind has been put into the service so I’m in full authorized charge of the tentative class. That means that I’m in line for a staff rating and Art has a bet with me that by the end of August I shall have received the rating. Since the bet is worth winning, I hope that he will sort of give things a little help whenever he can, now that he has the opportunity. I definitely will not be sorry to receive it.

No further news on my furlough. However there has been no chance as yet, concerning the approximate date, and therefore I’m still expecting it to be toward the end of August. And that brings up another matter. I may need a little money in order to get home by plane if possible, and if not, by train. In any case I don’t think that it will be more than $50 or $75. Now if you will be in a position to help, fine and dandy, but if not, fine also. I can get money out here rather easily.

On the $525, I have not been able to find out much. It all amounts to the fact that the check is being handled by a bank here and not an individual.

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

My social life has, if anything, been stepped up. It has also been pretty much concentrated, as far as companionship is concerned, on one girl. I believe I wrote you something about Marian Irwin previously, and she is the subject of concentration. You may hear more about her in the future. Every Thursday evening about 12 or 15 of us, in mixed company, go bowling, and a couple of weeks ago I sort of missed the boat, got off the beam, you know, was behind the eight ball, or in any case I took a couple of bets with Marian, and lost both of them. One game was for a bottle of her favorite perfume against a carton of cigarettes, and the other was for the admission to the play “Firefly”. I pay off Wednesday, and am sort of looking forward to it. Tomorrow night there is to be a swim party and picnic afterward at the Hospitality Center,  sponsored by the Senior and Junior hostesses of the South Pasadena Hospitality House. I expect that it will be a lot of fun. However it reminds me of something you can do for me. In my trunk, I think in the right hand corner, under two or three layers, is my bathing suit. Please dig it out and send it to me here at Camp Santa Anita. The keys for the trunk are in your drawer in the dresser in your room. And continuing on the social life, tonight I am supposed to attend a surprise birthday party for one of the Junior hostesses at her house. She is a friend of Marian’s and has really been awfully nice to all of us. In fact, the four of us, (Vic is no longer a part of our gang), are invited. That is Art, Jr., Vince and myself, and ever since we first started going to the Hospitality House regularly, we have just about taken over the place. Everyone there knows us by our first names, and we are always being invited to something, or someplace. We all expect to have a good time, as usual. That is a sample of just how our free hours are spent, week after week, and on into eternity, I hope. Last night, Art, Marian, and a girlfriend of Art’s and myself went to Hollywood and spent all evening dancing to Woody Herman at the Palladium. Woody is one of the Swing Band Leaders that I don’t like particularly, but he does have a good orchestra and plays some sweet music now and then. Marian is not a jitterbug and neither am I, but she is a very good dancer and we get along very well, dancing to almost any type of music, so we had a perfect time.

I said that Vic is no longer here. He has been accepted by the Army to attend college where he is to study electrical engineering. That means that he will, in all probability, be part of the Army of Occupation that is being built up now. However we do not know just yet to which school he will be sent.

This afternoon, before starting this, I took the machine apart and cleaned it and it is working quite well. There goes the siren which means there are 5 minutes to go until quitting time, so if I want to get supper before it is too late I had better finish this up quick.

So long.

Lad

P.S. the correct phrase is Buenas Noches and not as you wrote it, just in case you didn’t know.

AG

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will be letters from Grandpa. On Friday, another from Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Victors – A Very Busy Week – August, 1945

Trumbull, Conn.,  Aug. 19, 1945

Dear Victors:

Since my last letter to you (only a week ago as time is reckoned but judged by events, a long era ago), so many things have happened here that it seems as though the Jap surrender happened a long time ago. Already millions of dollars worth of war contracts have been canceled by the Government among Bridgeport plants, thousands of employees here have already been laid off, among them the young folks living in the apartment, who have already made arrangements to vacate next week. Marian is quitting Sikorsky Sept. 1st, unless—-ah, that is something !! Today’s paper brings news that yesterday there arrived in New York a transport caring a bunch of boys that sailed from Marseille, France on August 7th en route to the Philippines via Panama and Hawaii, who were diverted to the U.S., among which was the 142nd  O.B.A.M. This is Lad’s outfit and, in view of the fact mentioned in one of Dan’s recent letters, that upon Lad’s return from Calais he had missed sailing with his outfit, it looks very much as though Lad might be on the August 7th sailing, and may now be in Camp Kilmer, N.J., coming home on a 30-day furlough. So, we are all alerted here for a phone call either today or tomorrow from Lad telling us he is on his way home. Anyway, we have our fingers crossed.

Marian has already announced she will not go to work tomorrow, just in case. Jean wrote Marian it was not out of reason to expect that tomorrow (Monday) she would actually be in Brazil, as last Tuesday she was to move into the Government hotel to be processed, briefed and have her last typhoid shot.

Dan wrote hastily just a few days before VJ day asking me to send Paulette some clothes she had picked out from the Sears Roebuck catalog and Dave on Aug. 6th wrote:  “I’m convinced more and more each day that we will all be home a lot sooner than a lot of people think. To let up would be disastrous, of course, but I can’t see that it can take much longer. You should see the airpower on this one island that has been ours for only a short time.”

Nothing new here. Our job here has slowed way down— what’s next— who knows? Incidentally, a postal from Ted Human from Bahama says he will be back soon in New York as the road award will be delayed for months.

Dan, as soon as I got your letter, I stopped at the Sears store on Fairfield Ave., they told me not one of the dresses Paulette had on the list was any longer in stock, as this was a catalog issued in the spring and they were all sold out. They suggested I wait until the fall catalog was out about Sept. 15th, with the new offerings. Meantime, Marian is going to look around among other Bridgeport stores to see if she can find something along the line of those items Paulette has selected. As the missing camera part, I will try to find it, but not knowing just what to look for, I am rather handicapped in my quest. Meantime, I am breathlessly awaiting news from all of you boys as to what definite news, if any, you may have had regarding your return to the U.S.A.

Aunt Elsie is here with us today, and I shall have to leave in a few minutes to take her to the Station. By the way, all gas rationing is off and you’d be surprised how many cars are on the road again. All you do now is drive in a gas station, and like old days, just say “Fill ‘er up”, only the rush has been too much for many gas stations and they quickly run out of their supply. I hope too, that before long, the quality of gas will be considerably better. Both tire and food rationing is easing up, and blue points for canned fruit and vegetables has been discontinued. Meat, butter and sugar is still rationed. By the first of the year we are promised many things that we have not been able to obtain for years. Peace has come with a bang, and it is good, always.

Page 2    8/19/45

Dan has just forwarded to me a letter written by Paulette’s father last June, which is such a friendly message and so courteously written in English that I thought you would all be pleased to read it.

Dear Sir and friend:

Since a long time I intended to write you but I was nearly shamefully of having so much my English language forgotten. 31 years past I went in England for the last time and I had rarely the opportunity to maintain myself and refresh my vocabulary. Therefore I beg you to excuse me. I hope that you will even though understand me. At first, I wish to say you very sincerely and cordially, you may and you must be the proudest father (proud in the good sense), only when considering the most precious qualities of intelligence, of education and chiefly of heart, of your son Daniel. The most loving son will be surely the most loving husband. As for his future, we are not disquieted, and confidingly,  we canfide the happiness of Paulette to Daniel without the least fear. Since the first day when making his acquaintance, a current of sympathy, the largest, the warmest, the most heartily, streamed between us. It was soon a real affection and he has become for us a new son which we love alike our other children. Paulette has communicated us your letters and those of her future sisters. I should not know to explain you how much we have happily been affected when reading. We are sure that Paulette shall find, landing in the U.S., the most cordial and affectionate welcome in her new family. I care particularly about not to forget to thank you all for the splendid gifts that you have offered to Paulette and for those that we have ourselves received. Paulette has truly a new Dad who loves her well. You are too kind. How to thank you enough? We would fix the date of marriage to the 4th August next, at Calais. Do you agree this date? Daniel will be intermediate between us for fixing it. I halt and I ask you for saying lovely things to your family, and shaking heartily your hand, I am, yours truly and affectionately, Maurice Senechal.

Carl has quit the Merchant Marine and is looking around for some business of his own, possibly in the Marine field. Mr. Gibson has opened up a gas station near the Merritt Parkway at Oronoque, Conn. My hay fever has started. Happy birthday to Dick and the hope that Jean was able to be with him to suitably celebrate the day. It is Elsie’s birthday on the 22nd.

And that’s about all my excited brain can think of to say at present. Anyhow, I don’t want to write half as much as I want to hear from you all with your reaction to the big news and your ideas about homecoming. I took a part holiday Wednesday and all day Thursday celebrating by taking Marian and Aunt Betty for an all day auto ride visiting the Lees and the Kirchers. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day and we all enjoyed it. When the news broke in Trumbull it was recognized by the blowing of the fire siren, peeling of the church bell, tooting of auto horns with sundry yippeeees and bangs, with Marian, in between times, jumping up and down and clapping her hands in ecstasy. However, if Lad’s voice comes over the phone within the next few hours, her past actions will be mild compared to what will happen then. I hope, I hope, I hope. Well, we shall see. In any event, it won’t be long now when some of you will make this old place live again.

DAD

 

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll continue the story of Mary E Wilson and her early years here in America. Next week I’ll begin posting letters written in 1941. Both Lad and Dan are facing the real possibility that yhey will be drafted soon. The pressure isn’t quite as strong for Dick or Ced and, fortunately, Dave is still in high school. Judy Guion